Mangoes, monkeys, and sugar mills in Nevis

We stayed for one week at the Hermitage Plantation. Off season, there were no crowds -- we often had restaurants to ourselves. Nevis is a beautiful, tiny island and easy to navigate if you rent a car (watch out for crabs crossing the roads!). The island is clean and friendly, but expensive.

The Hermitage Plantation Inn

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Suzannecat on May 20, 2004

We had no idea what to expect when we bid on this one-week vacation to the Hermitage from our local PBS auction, but the trip turned out to be wonderful!

We arrived in Nevis from St Kitts on a four-person plane (and that includes the pilot). That set the tone for the whole island, which is really very tiny and intimate. After a 15-minute or so cab ride into the hills past wild donkeys, goats, and chickens, we arrived at the Hermitage and were greeted by owner Richard Lupinacci and a rum punch (though mango coladas were to become a favorite at the bar).

The resort is a converted historical plantation with several buildings decorated in fine antiques, including the 250-year-old wooden Great House, said to be the oldest all wood house in the Antilles. Most guests stay in lovely cottages complete with hammock strung porches. Our cottage had the requisite mosquito net over the bed and we were very thankful for it, but ownership does try to diminish biting bugs as much as possible. The Hermitage is not on the beach, but has a comfortable, unassuming pool for guests. The cozy outdoor restaurant attracts non-guests as well.

We enjoyed mango pancakes most mornings, but specialties such as flying fish were available too. Fruit trees are all over the property and produce grown there is used in the kitchen. Apparently one has to fight the local green monkeys for the bananas though -- they were often out and the monkeys were hiding in the bushes behind the cottages. Dinners are a sumptuous event, preceded by cocktails with the hosts. The Lupinacci family is incredible hospitable and we were invited to sit in their booth at a wild and crazy local horse race -- Richard was president of the Jockey Club. There is a small lending library onsite for books and movies as well as water gear and I think other outdoor sports equipment as well. The Hermitage is very nearby to the Nevis Botanical Gardens and several historical sugar mills, including one that has been transformed into a unique and beautiful gallery, the Eva Wilkin Gallery. This was our first trip sans children and we couldn't have stayed at a nicer place -- you truly feel like a welcome houseguest here, not just a hotel patron. We look forward to a return someday!

Sunshine's Bar and Grille

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Suzannecat on May 21, 2004

Seafood just doesn't get any fresher than at Sunshine's! Located right on Pinney's Beach, this shack (literally) serves up a limited menu, but what they do, they do right.

My husband and I both ordered what everybody comes to Sunshine's for: lobster. The way it works it this: you sit down, say you'll have the lobster, and a guy gets into a small boat and paddles out into the water. He comes back with lobster in the boat and they cook it for you. At least, that's what happened when we were there. Granted, it was very off-season and there was only one other couple there at the time. The lobster was sweet and delicious. Sunshine's bar drinks also have a great reputation, but we're not really drinkers, so we just had iced tea. Lobster dinners were about $25 apiece.

Reggae music in the background helped set the mood.

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